For most of us, stress is just a part of life. It can last for a few hours — like the time leading up to a final exam — or for years — like when you’re taking care of an ailing loved one.
Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to the occasion.
At other times, it’s simply overwhelming.
Whatever the case, if it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your immune system.
Eliminating or modifying these factors in your life is vital to protect and augment the immune response.
It’s necessary to buffer the inevitability of the aging process.
So what impact does stress have on you?
Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope. Stress is more than just fleeting worry. It’s a silent epidemic that’s wiping out our wellness. There is a strong correlation between stress and gut health.
Stress causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. But over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood… And this opens the door for more inflammation.
More and more studies are showing that the balance or imbalance of bacteria in your digestive system is linked to overall health and disease
In addition, stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection.
The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and the flu.
High stress levels also can cause depression and anxiety, again leading to higher levels of inflammation.
In the long-term, sustained, high levels of inflammation point to an overworked, over-tired immune system that can’t properly protect you.
If you don’t control high stress levels, chronic inflammation can accompany it and can contribute to the development and progression of many diseases of the immune system.
Do you ever get a bad feeling in your gut? Your stomach is telling you that something isn’t right. That’s because it isn’t. We all believe stress is a mental thing.
Well, it does affect our “second brain”. After all, our gut is a pivotal sensory organ for wellness.
Via the gut-brain-axis, the mental anguish we feel in times of stress is reciprocated in our gut biome.
Since it’s in our gut, we’re not cognizant of it.
However, our microbes are. So, when our mind feels stress, the nervous system does, as well.
Stress reduction strategies not only give your mind a break, but they can also relieve the pressure on your immune system.
You can take steps to reduce short-term and long-term stress – Meditate for 10 minutes to 15 minutes three or four times weekly to lower your stress.
It reduces your cortisol levels and reduces inflammation. Research also shows it helps prevent the breakdown of your chromosomes that leads to cancer and premature aging.
Or you can take a daily probiotic. If you are hoping to improve your health and destress, your immune system is the first place to look.
By taking quality probiotics, you can boost this biological ‘army’ that protects you against a range of health dangers.
While you may not think that your gut is a primary contributor to your stress and immune health, keep in mind that 70 – 80% of your immune cells live in your gut!
If your gut is not healthy, your immune system cannot be either.
The relationship between stress and illness is not a simple one, but there is a connection.
Because the endocrine and immune systems are so interrelated, disruption to one due to physical or emotional stress typically causes damage to the other.
So for now, stay home, stay safe, and most importantly stay healthy
To Your Health,
FAT LOSS LAB